All web series have at least some purpose right? Most however limit their ambitions to entertainment, sometimes just the amusement of its creators. But there’s another whole coterie of series that push a little harder into turning our online distractions into action. These are the shows like Streamy-winner Alive in Bahgdad or GOOD Magazine’s Harmony series that stir up some informed thinking on issues typically glossed over in the daily news blitz.
Damien Somerset is a web video guy with a foot on each side of that line—a former editor of the popular laffer Ask a Ninja series and a stint as a web video consultant for GOOD Magazine. So it’s only fitting that he would cook up a series that weaves the sometimes opposing poles of entertaining and informative into his new green series, Shift Logic.
The show itself newsy, but for the blog set; think a greener version of Rocketboom—single host, simple backdrop, quick cuts, sarcasm—minus the adorable young ingenue. Somerset is the host, writer and producer of the series, this time opting to have himself in front of the camera unlike his previous green web series ZapRoot which stars Jessica Williamson as the bite-size news dishing anchor.
The big difference here is that the content of each episode, those sarcastic nibbles of current enviro-news, are all driven from viewer submissions on the Shift Logic site. A running blog of user-submitted stories is on there with articles pulled from all over the web. Top ones—those that get he most user votes— make it in the eps, with shout-out credit to the submitters.
“Environmental media is often filled with seriousness and a sense of gloom, and while I completely respect that perspective, “serious” is just not my thing,” Somerset told us. “When it comes to environmental topics there’s a whole lot of ridiculousness to go around and I just like to have fun with that.”
The series and site just launched last month and so far there’s only one episode out, with new ones dropping every two weeks. For distribution, the series hits up the standard web series homes like YouTube, Blip.tv and iTunes, but also pushes out to issues hub Causecast.
For now, sponsor deals and money aren’t on the top of Somerset’s game plan. “From working on a lot of web projects I know that it’s not a good idea to have the fate of your creative projects rely on making money,” added Somerset. “If you’re a creator then that is what you do, you make things. The money you will find other places.”